By Kirsten Robbins in Rolla, Missouri
Team Columbia's Michael Barry marked his first win in three seasons at stage four of the Tour of Missouri. His last triumph was in 2005 at the Tour of Austria, but the Canadian is known for a decades worth of top-notch domestique work for winning teams like US Postal Service, Discovery Channel and T-Mobile. After a season of ill health, Barry is back, feeling "better than ever."
"It feels really good to get a win for myself but I'm really pleased with the whole team," said Barry who spent the two opening stages on the front delivering Mark Cavendish to double victories.
"I take a lot of pleasure and enjoy helping the other guys," he continued. "They're good guys and I think when we win, who ever it is, the whole team celebrates and feels good about it. So this isn't just a victory for myself – it's for the whole team."
Barry noted that his health has not been up to par for nearly two seasons. He suffered a case of pneumonia in 2007 followed by a series of other health related problems. However, his recent ninth place performance at the Beijing Olympics is a good indication that he has made a full recovery.
"I really struggled the last year and I didn't know whether I would come back or not," he continued. "I had a whole lot of health problems and I just started to get my legs back in May, it feels good. I have many people to thank. My team has been supportive and my family was extremely supportive, along with my coaches -- I haven't felt this good in my whole career."